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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray named Michael Kharfen to direct the D.C. Department of Health (DOH) HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Administration (HAHSTA). Kharfen, who has extensive experience in developing and administering community-outreach programs for HIV/AIDS prevention as well as other aspects of public health and community outreach, has served since 2006 as HAHSTA’s Bureau Chief for Capacity Building & Community Outreach.
“Michael Kharfen has worked to create some of the nation’s most successful programs in HIV/AIDS prevention and has decades of experience in community outreach and public health,” said Mayor Gray. “He is a natural pick to lead this important administration in the Department of Health, and I look forward to working together with him as we continue to tackle the challenge of HIV/AIDS in the District and other public-health issues.”
Kharfen developed the District’s condom-distribution program, which provides more condoms per capita to members of the public than any other city in the country. He also expanded the District's school-based STD screening program. He has developed an award-winning awareness and social-marketing program on HIV/AIDS prevention and implemented innovative programs to promote HIV prevention among older adults and via peer education among youth.
Kharfen’s previous experience includes serving as the Director of Public Affairs for the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as the Director of the Community Assistance Unit in New York City’s Office of the Mayor. A Ward 3 resident, he is a graduate of Oberlin College.
Kharfen, who will serve as Interim Senior Deputy Director for HAHSTA, replaces Dr. Gregory Pappas. “I want to thank Dr. Pappas for his two-plus years of hard work in helping us fight HIV infections and other public-health threats in the District,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services BB Otero. “I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”